Ramon Llull in Barcelona is antidote to terrorism

Isis and all that goes with it, including the recent attack in Barcelona are not a spontaneous deeds but rather are based on years of history. It is therefore necessary, in addition to immediate action of rescue and prevention, to do deeper cultural work that requires investment especially in education. The Catalan culture possesses antidotes to such an ideology of violence and death, and not only to defend herself but can also be effective in general. We are making reference to – as the Archbishop of Barcelona, Cardinal Juan José Omella mentioned several times – the Majorcan Ramon Llull, one of the first Catalan writers, that in the late thirteenth century wrote a veritable “ars,” or method, to move from a clash of ignorances to a dialogue about identity.

Below is a brief summary of Lullian thought from the readable and informative Raimundus christianus arabicus. Ramon Llull and the meeting of cultures (Velar, Gorle 2017).

Llull’s approach to the Muslim world is not anecdotal. It is difficult to find among the Christian theologians of his time anyone with a similar knowledge of Arabic and the Muslim religion. He knew both so well that in several of his works he refers to himself as “christianus arabicus,” taking on the model of the wise Christian Arabs who had disputed with Islam in previous centuries.

The bases of his project provide evidence of the inescapable necessity to accept the cultural elements of the interlocutor: to know and speak the languages of non-Christians and in particular Arabic. Llull’s goal is to present Christian doctrine in such a way that non-Christians can understand and accept it without difficulty.

This why Llull focuses his attention on Muslim thought. He writes original works in Arabic (such as The Logic of Al-Ghazali or The Book of Contemplation). Sadly we no longer have any copies of these two books. He adopts Arabian models in some of his writings (The Book of the Lover and the Beloved which claims Sufi inspiration, or The Hundred Names of God).

The difficulty of identifying the actual Arab influences on some aspects of Llull’s thought has to do with his propensity to shun the use of authority in his works. Nonetheless, it seems certain, for example, that he used an Arab source for structures of his Logica nova (1303): namely the Budd al-carif of the Muslim philosopher and theologian Ibn Sabcin di Múrcia (127/18-1269/71).

For further information see Sara Muzzi, Ramon Llull, Raimondo Lullo. Opere e vita straordinaria di un grande pensatore medievale, Edizioni Terra Santa, Milan 2016, p. 80, euro 8.00.

Source: www.assisiofm.it